Major breakthrough in yeast engineering
A breakthrough in yeast genome engineering by scientists from Macquarie University’s ARC Center of Excellence in Synthetic Biology and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) could be a game-changer for the industry .
AWRI research director Dr. Anthony Borneman and the study’s lead author said it was a proof of concept that entirely new chromosomes can be created for industrial use. specific.
“Unique genomic sequences from a range of yeast strains – including those used in the production of wine, sake and biofuels – have been assembled into an entirely new chromosome in the laboratory strain.
“This additional genetic material conferred new characteristics, such as allowing the laboratory strain to ferment sugars that it normally cannot utilize, expanding the raw materials available for industrial use,” Borneman said.
The research is an extension of a global artificial yeast project, Sc2.0, which is attempting to synthesize the entire yeast genome Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an industrial workhorse, the AWRI said, having been used in brewing, distilling, winemaking and baking for thousands of years.
More recently, it has been important for the production of ethanol for E10 gasoline and a wide variety of industrial biochemicals.
The overall goal of this work was to address the lack of genetic variation in the Sc2.0 strain that may limit future industrial applications.
The project aims to help researchers understand how a yeast genome is organized and how genomes could be improved to create more robust organisms.
It also provides a basis for specific future goals, such as the creation of new drugs or biofuels. Macquarie University, ARC Center of Excellence in Synthetic Biology and AWRI are partners in the Sc2.0 collaboration.